Basilique Saint-Sernin de Toulouse

We haven’t been doing too much exploring so far, but this was the first (of many) churches we’ve visited here in Toulouse.  We stopped by the other day after lunch at a Tartine spot (trés délicieux).  It’s maybe a 10 minute walk from our apartment and quite the visual to see (and hear).

It’s known for being the largest remaining Romanesque building in Europe.  More specifically, it’s a church that was built (or at least the existing church was built upon a former church) for the first bishop of Toulouse – Saint Sernin.  It’s also known for the massive organ inside (three-manual Cavaille-Coll organ), which is listed as one of the most important organs in all of France.

We didn’t take any photos inside, but it’s huge.  As I mentioned, there’s an unbelievable pipe organ and many side chapels.  After doing a little research, I learned these side chapels are connected by something called an ambulatory or a walkway that goes around the nave and side aisles to allow for viewing of side chapels without interrupting the mass.  I got a couple lessons in Catholicism from Jim as we walked through, which was nice.

My favorite part, though, is the bell tower.  You can see it in the photo.  You can hear the bells ringing in our apartment throughout the day, which gives off an nice old-world feel.  I think I’d kinda like to go to a mass there…

**Excuse what looks like trash in front of the church.  It was THE windiest day since we’ve been here and things were blowing EVERYWHERE.  I doubt that’s normal.

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